New tiny scorpion species discovered in Thai national park

Photo courtesy of Species New to Science

A research team from Chulalongkorn University found a new species of tiny scorpions at Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi.

A team, spearheaded by Wasin Nawanetiwong from Chulalongkorn University, alongside Associate Professor Dr Nattapoj Vajarasathira, unearthed a new addition to the arachnid family.

Dubbed Scorpiops (Euscorpiops) krachan, this diminutive creature, barely stretching over 1 inch (25 centimetres) in length, proudly displays a brownish hue and sports eight yellow legs complemented by eight eyes. Yet, what truly sets it apart is its tender maternal instinct, as snapshots reveal it cradling golden offspring upon its back and nestled beneath its limbs: a rarity among scorpions.

These elusive Kaeng Krachan scorpions were stumbled upon beneath the rugged terrain of the Ban Krang campsite, concealed within the labyrinthine rainforests of the national park near Hua Hin, along the Thailand-Myanmar border.

Employing ambush strategies for foraging, much like its kin in the Scorpiops genus, this newly identified species adds an intriguing twist to the evolutionary narrative. Remarkably, the identification process relied solely on physical attributes such as body structure and pincers, eschewing DNA analysis.

The research team, including Ondřej Košulič, Natapot Warrit, Wilson Lourenço, and Eric Ythier, extends gratitude to their collaborators for their unwavering support throughout this exhilarating journey of discovery, reported Hua Hin Today.

Kaeng Krachan National Park, a sprawling expanse spanning 2,915 square kilometres, stands as a testament to Thailand’s commitment to environmental preservation. Nestled in the western heartlands, it was enshrined as Thailand’s 28th national park in 1981, securing its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021.

In related news, the Thai authorities arrested a 40 year old man for illegally selling protected wild birds online, claiming he needed the money for his child’s medical expenses. The man was apprehended at his home in Songkhla province with 29 caged birds in his possession.

In other news, the National Science Museum (NSM) Foundation in Thailand recently uncovered five unique insect species and a novel plant species, bolstering the nation’s strides in scientific discovery. The revelation was made public by NSM President, Assistant Professor Rawin Raviwongse on January 24.

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